In a further show of its 5G technology leadership Optus, in partnership with Ericsson, has achieved a world first delivering coexistence of narrow band IoT (NBIoT) and Ericsson Spectrum Sharing between 5G and 4G on the 700MHz spectrum layer.
The use of this cutting-edge technology will assist in unlocking a quick and cost-effective way to enable 5G services on low frequency spectrum bands, giving a boost in 5G coverage, without compromising the excellent customer experience offered by mid-band 5G services.
Importantly, utilising Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (Ericsson’s unique dynamic spectrum sharing solution) on the 700MHz spectrum layer will maintain the 4G and NBIOT user experience while significantly extending the reach of 5G coverage for 5G users, both indoors and outdoors, helping to connect customers to 5G in the places that matter to them.
“To ensure we offer our customers the best 5G network possible, it’s important to innovate together with our technology partners. This test has shown that our 5G coverage footprint on our world class network can be extended without compromising 4G and NBIOT customer experience and is the first step in being able to carefully introduce this technology. The test also highlights the ability to achieve spectrum efficiency through enabling multiple services and technologies on the same spectrum resource,” said Lambo Kanagaratnam, Managing Director Optus Networks.
The implementation of this technology will enable Optus to further extend its 5G coverage footprint over a wider area, while leveraging the recent implementation of FDD+TDD 5G carrier aggregation on the mid-band spectrum to bring super-fast 5G speeds to 5G customers.
“Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is a unique solution that enables innovative service providers like Optus to roll out 5G more quickly. It helps to maximise equipment reuse and existing spectrum while rapidly delivering 5G services, paving the way for faster time-to-commercialisation of a new generation of business and consumer opportunities – from augmented and virtual reality to eSports streaming,” said Martin Wiktorin, Ericsson’s Head of Global Customer Unit Singtel.
New mmWave milestone
Pushing the limits of 5G even further Optus, together with Ericsson and Casa Systems, recently broke an Optus network milestone with a single user mmWave reaching peak speeds of over 5Gbps in a controlled environment at its Sydney headquarters, followed by 4.5Gbps in a live commercial environment in Sydney’s Kings Cross. This was all achieved using a Casa Systems AurusAI commercial CPE device on commercial Ericsson Radio Access Network.
“We can’t wait for our customers to start connecting to our mmWave 5G network as commercial devices become available later this year. These speeds are truly incredible and alongside the other benefits of mmWave will help to open- up a raft of new applications for both consumers and enterprise,” added Mr Kanagaratnam.
“Fixed Wireless Access technology plays a significant role in connecting our communities across Australia. Casa Systems’ disruptive approach pushes the boundaries of 5G, opening up new services for consumers and businesses. This collaboration with Optus and Ericsson demonstrates the successful track record of our best-of-breed high-power mmWave CPE solution, the AurusAI,” said Steve Collins, Senior Vice President of Access Devices at Casa Systems.
Optus currently has more than 1300 5G sites across Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra as well as key areas outside of these cities.